Proposal: A New World Standard for Digital Passports


As the world turns more and more digital, physical passports will most likely become a relic of the past. Not only Nation3, but several other Web3-friendly nation states will introduce their own NFT passports. Eventually, we might experience a world where we can physically travel to one of these new Web3-friendly nation states and enter their sovereign land by presenting an NFT passport instead of a physical one.

For this to work worldwide across multiple locations, languages, and Web3 nations, we need to agree on a world standard for these digital passports. This proposal is for doing a feasibility study of developing a new world standard for digital passports.

Work Breakdown

To learn how feasible it would be for Nation3 to build the necessary infrastructure/tooling for digital passports, these categories of work will be carried out over a 2-month period:

20%: Research Existing Initiatives/Consortiums

There are probably individuals and organizations already trying to introduce digital passports. So part of the work will be to research these existing initiatives to see if we can build upon their work. One example of such work is esPass.

20%: Research ISO/ERC Submission

We might want to consider submitting a new digital passport standard to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Just like most web developers have encountered the ISO/IEC 8859-1 standard when adding support for multiple languages to their website, another ISO standard could be created for digital passports.

Also research the process for submitting an Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP), if it would make sense to draft a new Ethereum Token Standard for NFT passports.

20%: Draft Digital Passport Specification

Draft a specification of the digital passport standard in a Markdown file in GitHub.

20%: Implement Specification for Nation3

Build a mobile application (Android) based on the specification draft. This will serve as a proof-of-concept, with Nation3 as the first organization to adopt the new world standard.

The mobile passport application will allow Nation3 citizens to connect with their Ethereum wallet, prove ownership with a signature, and visually present their NFT passport.

Mobile Passport Android - Loading Mobile Passport Android - Generic

This work pairs well with the Apple Wallet and Google Pay integration which is already ongoing: GitHub - nation3/mobile-passport: Take your Nation3 passport everywhere.

20%: Research Border Control Compatibility :passport_control:

Until we have transitioned away from traditional nation states, we still have to live with their physical border controls. But who knows, maybe a traditional country one day will turn Ethereum-friendly and recognize the Nation3 Digital Passport standard as a valid travel document.

If this happens, they will probably be asking for some compatibility with their existing border control systems. Research what technologies are currently being used by physical border controls. It could be various hardware like QR code scanners, NFC readers, etc. Physical passports with an e-Passport symbol contain the holder’s name, date of birth, and other biographic information. Research how this electronic chip is used by border controls.


Guild Coordination

A guild coordinator (@aahna) will manage a Dework project board by breaking all the above-mentioned labor into manageable Dework tasks, and balancing the compensation between each task (until a Coordinape Circle is ready).

At the end of each month, the guild coordinator will present a report of the progress.

Budget and Duration

  • Guild: Research
  • Budget: 6 $NATION per month
  • Total duration: 2 months


Would you support this proposal in Snapshot?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters


Implement Specification is 20% of the whole work,is that possible to achieve?

Everything is on the right track, heading for the future

We can adjust it up if you want? 25%? 30%?

Some administrative tasks to enable this work:

:white_check_mark: Create Coordinape Circle: “Research Guild”
:hourglass_flowing_sand: Create Dework project board: “Research Guild”
:hourglass_flowing_sand: Create GitHub repos: digital-passport-spec and mobile-passport-android

CC @luis @anastasiya


Exciting proposal. Here are some answers and personal thoughts.

We are releasing the Nation3 Genesis Passport based on the common ERC721 standard for integrability purposes with current indexers & wallets.
However, I agree this type of token should have its own standard. We checked the recently merged draft for the EIP-4973 Account-bound Tokens. It seems very promising, but I think there is still space for discussion, and it will take time until it is widely adopted. More R&D done on this topic would be appreciated.

Regarding the app implementation, I’m more of the opinion that a dedicated passport app is unnecessary at this point. But maybe in the future, with more Nation3 services in place would be cool to release an all-in-one citizen app.
The work you are doing to release the passbook version of the passport together with an auth-service based on wallet signing should be more than enough to use for Nation3 IRL needs (events & spaces).
I think it is not in the current spec. Still, I would expect something like pushing a signing notification to your mobile wallet when the passbook is scanned (QR or NFC).

Despite the above, I still think there is an opportunity to do valuable research on token-based passport standardization. I see a long way ahead to achieve trad-nations recognition and honestly even feel that it isn’t a path worth walking right now. We still have plenty of infrastructures to build on the web3 space before thinking of jumping to onboard trad nations/institutions. I would like to see the token-based passport functionality in place between web3 communities before trying to move to traditional systems. There is still a lot of work to do in this area: bilateral border-free agreements / visa-like systems, etc.

Conclusion to my previous comments. I would support the proposal with the following changes:

  • Skip the App implementation.
  • Switch traditional border control compatibility with the fieldwork to get a visa-like system working with web3 gated communities.

Thanks for another great proposal @aahna!

Fully agree with those points. Also, I’d add an idea we had for the QR codes in the passes:

  • The current Passport.sol implementation has a way for the passport holder to designate a signer account, which for example can be a low-security mobile wallet that you can carry in your phone.
  • Someone hosting an event can scan the QR code in your pass, which would trigger a signature on your mobile wallet to authenticate.
  • After successful signature, the person hosting the event will see that on their end and let you access it.

In terms of having a standard/EIP, I’d be interested in knowing your thoughts on the specific items that would need standardization and why. Right now the passports are much just like a normal NFT (probably only very different addition is the signer for in-person events?), but the key part is how the ecosystem embraces the use of such NFT.

Also I think getting Nation3 passports to work with the systems that trad countries have is still very further away – I would focus on more short-term achievements that we can unlock to bootstrap an internal economy.

So, my 2c would be:

  • Research on this seems important:
  • An EIP can help, mainly to raise awareness in the Ethereum community
  • I don’t think we need an app for now, having Apple Wallet/Google Pay integrations

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

1 Like

Well, at least for me, the passport fits more with an account-bound token than a standard ERC721. I agree with @ahhna that some research on a standard spec for this type of token would be helpful, for example to have them properly indexed without having to constrain to do workarounds with the ERC721 or ERC1155 standard (as we have done :sweat_smile:).

I think, there might come new problems during implementation, therefore 25% would be better. but it is just my opinion, you know the situation better, it is up to you to decide :slight_smile:

Can this passport authenticate foreign transactions?

@boluo What do you mean by foreign transactions?

Can I use passport authentication?

When receiving the Genesis Passport which is non-transferable, the idea of Account-bound Tokens just came to me. It is critical to explore the utility of Nation3 infrastructure IRL, and it could be the first step towards the development of a new digital passport standard. Still, we need to ensure that it is well designed and not duplicated to any existing EIP.

It is crucial for the future development of Web3 to have a universal standard of work rewards and passports assigned to Guilds.